“We Baby Boomers think we’re going to die without getting old,” an insightful colleague told me recently. At the time, we chuckled at the folly of our generation. But lately I am starting to think that we may actually be able to pull it off. And for those who do, cannabis will play a significant part in that aging-without-getting-old process.
Healing with cannabis, like any other plant medicine, invites us to engage in an unmediated relationship between natural sources and our own well-being. And a trip to Humboldt County, California, the heartland and spiritual home of cannabis, is an excellent way to appreciate the plant’s medicinal powers.
I recently visited the Emerald Queen Farm, a pristine compound nestled “behind the redwood curtain” in Humboldt County, where cannabis is grown with love and tenderness in native soil, with organic fertilizer under the northern California Sun. Hannah Whyte who founded the farm with her husband Riley Morrison, has deep reverence for the medicine under her cultivation.
“Synthesizing the active ingredient from a plant in a lab diminishes our relationship with our environment and with plants in general,” Hannah observes. “Plant medicine allows for a more dynamic kind of healing, and I think our bodies respond to whole plant medicine better than just the isolated chemicals.”
Quality of Life in Later Life
For older adults, cannabis can enhance sleep, reduce anxiety, alleviate depression, improve mood, and even enhance sexual fulfillment – all measures of quality of life that can be enjoyed through the end of life. But the cornerstone of quality of living is freedom from pain.
Older adults suffer disproportionately from chronic pain. Yet the options for pain relief offered through the traditional medical system are not sustainable for extended use, and can even exacerbate existing conditions. Using cannabis, explains Rocourt, P&B’s Chief Product Officer, doesn’t carry those risks: “The problem with taking Advil or any other pain medication over long periods is that eventually they are going to damage your system. The great thing about cannabis is that it has been shown over time not to have toxic effects. Not only do you get relief from pain, but it can actually increase and enhance bodily function.”
Quality Time is Quality of Life
Tiana had always had a troubled relationship with her mother, a Baby Boomer who suffered from mental health issues and was critical of her work in the industry. But since her mother started using a high-CBD product, her functionality has improved, and they are now enjoying the best relationship they have ever had.
As Tiana describes it, “I feel that the older population was so stigmatized about cannabis… but then there is that “aha” moment where people realize that it’s actually not a bad thing. That it can help them feel better, and younger, and connect with another whole generation. That in itself is a healing process. And if this medicine can enable you to spend more quality time with your kids, then isn’t it worth it?”
Written By: Abbie Rosner